Computer tomography in automotive construction: BMW Group uses X-ray measurements for car analysis

Munich. The BMW Group has introduced computer
tomography (CT) into antecedent development, prolongation and investigate –
a initial in a automotive industry. Thanks to this technology, the
full operation of vehicles, from MINI to Rolls-Royce, can now be
quality-controlled even in a early stages of development. Scans are
achieved by 4 robots that pierce around a outward of the
antecedent to furnish several thousand cross-sectional images. These
are afterwards used for minute examinations of innovations, new materials
and fastening technologies. Until now, vehicles have had to be
distant for analysis, though CT allows checks to be carried out with
a car totally intact. The new X-ray complement is formed in the
BMW Group Pilot Plant in a Research Innovation Centre (FIZ) in
Munich, during a intersection between Development and Production.

Udo Hänle, conduct of Production Integration and Pilot Plant: “The use
of this state-of-the-art mechanism tomography complement is a vital step
brazen for us as it will assistance us to urge a peculiarity of our
products even further. We can now analyse a prototypes in minute
fact though carrying to idle them first. The new complement allows
us to inspect a vehicles in a approach that wouldn’t be probable with
conventional, immobile mechanism tomography systems. Ultimately, this
will capacitate us to confederate new technologies into a array vehicles
even faster.”


Analysis of inner structures

Michael Koch, conduct of Material and Process Analysis, adds: “We’ve
been regulating CT and X-ray scans to check car tools for many years,
though this latest complement takes peculiarity declaration to an wholly new
level. We can now analyse a vehicles right down to micro-metre level.”

This grade of fact is compulsory for a operation of reasons, for
instance to check welds and punch screw connections, and to verify
physique condition before and after painting, where impassioned temperatures
can impact glue bonds. Findings from a indicate are afterwards used as a
basement for creation targeted modifications to array production.

The indicate itself is achieved by 4 concurrent robots. Once the
car is in position in a system, a robots pierce around it.
Working in pairs, they send X-rays by it and opposite to their
counterparts. The information they collect is afterwards put by a specially
grown mechanism module that calculates a multi-layered,
three-dimensional image. This forms a basement for a minute analysis
of a inner workings of a vehicle, charity information on
objects as tiny as 100 micro-metres – approximately a breadth of a
tellurian hair.

Engineers are now carrying out investigate to settle how far
Artificial Intelligence competence be used to weigh findings. By
estimate vast amounts of data, a program can learn a many
opposite patterns that occur, couple particular equipment of data, and
gradually weigh commentary automatically.


Two years of growth work

BMW Group engineers and a Fraunhofer Development Centre for X-Ray
Technology (EZRT) spent dual years building a new system, that is
a usually one of a kind in a automotive industry.

Philipp Janello, plan manager during a BMW Group, explains: “Working
with X-ray specialists and plant engineers, we were means to enhance
a program of a exam complement with a assistance of extensive test
measurements carried out on a car body.” The outcome is a
customised complement that meets a mandate of a BMW Group.


Consumption and Emission Data.

BMW i8 Roadster:
Combined fuel expenditure 2.1 l/100 km;
cramped electricity expenditure 14.5 kWh/100 km; total CO2
emissions 46 g/km.

(All total formed on EU exam cycle regulating customary tyres).